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Super ZZT

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Title Screen

Super ZZT

Developer: Epic MegaGames
Publisher: Epic MegaGames
Platform: DOS
Released internationally: 1992

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.

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Super ZZT: Like ZZT, but super. Introduced scrolling, hints, larger rooms, new gameplay elements, and more colors (without the need of the STK) to the ZZT saga, but despite all this never really obtained the popularity of its predecessor.

Cheat Codes

Much like its predecessor, Super ZZT has a fairly easily-accessible cheat console which can be activated simply by pressing the ? key and then typing in any of the following commands, all of which appeared in the original:

  • ZAP - Clears the four spaces surrounding the player. Note that this clears anything in those squares, whether they be crucial to the game or not.
  • KEYS - Gives player all keys.
  • AMMO - Gives the player 5 ammo units.
  • GEMS - Gives the player 5 gems, but not the corresponding 5 health units.
  • TORCHES - Gives the player 3 torches.
  • HEALTH - Increases the player's health bar.

As in ZZT, typing in + or - followed by the name of a flag will set or clear that flag. Additionally, two more ? commands were added, centering around the "stone of power" object.

  • Z - Gain a stone of power.
  • NOZ - Lose a stone of power.

It is also possible to name the stones of power by setting a flag that begins with the letter Z. For example, +ZSTONES.

Extended Commands

Super ZZT added a few more undocumented commands and features to the engine and code interpreter:

  • /[direction] [count] - The original shortcut form /[direction] only enabled you to make an object #GO one space at a time. With this syntax, it can be moved a number of times in one direction.
  • ?[direction] [count] - The original shortcut form ?[direction] is the same as above but for #TRY. However, a bug in the interpreter actually makes this equivalent to /[direction] [256-count].
  • #GIVE and #TAKE now work with a new item class called Z, which represents the stones of power.
  • Upon entering a board either via a passage or travelling off the edge of a board, the :ENTER label is broadcast to everything on the entered board.
  • Pressing H during gameplay will broadcast the :HINT label to everything on the board. This is useful for making pop-up menus.
  • #DIE respects the tile underneath the object as opposed to the original ZZT where it always left a black empty space.
  • #BECOME [color] OBJECT no longer erases the code of the object.

Additional Features

  • Water has become Lava, but is functionally equivalent (although has a far less useful character code now).
  • Gems give 10 health instead of 1 like the original engine.
  • In version 1.1, you are given 20 ammo per box. In version 2.0, it's only 10.
  • Entering passages no longer leaves black empty spaces on the board at the location where you entered.

Debug Mode

Bigger rooms, lower resolution.

Using +DEBUG on the cheat console will activate debug mode, which is quite similar to that in classic, non-super ZZT. The letter "m" followed by some numbers is shown on-screen, now in the top-left. This value is the number of bytes remaining in heap memory for objects on the current board and the entire compressed data for the game world being played. Naturally, this also sets the flag "DEBUG".


Looking at the world through a little box.

Unlike its predecessor, Super ZZT has no apparent editor option, and seems to only play its built-in games. But looks can be deceiving- the game contains an editor, a direct successor of the editor found in the last game. Unlike ZZT, this editor probably was likely not intended for public use: many features are undocumented in the menu system, and it still uses the prior game's resolution. It can even edit the official games without requiring the DEBUG cheat.

To access it, load the game from the command prompt with the command superz /e, and then press E while on the Monster Zoo screen.